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Tomato, Tomato
Elf
rix_scaedu
I wrote this to aldersprig's prompt "Nai's world, something about the occupiers and what they have learned that was unexpected and how their "experts" deal with it."

“I do not see,” said Assistant Territorial Governor Tremaine of the Congressional States’ Concession in Tang-ji stiffly, “why it is necessary for the Legion to conduct its search in our territory.”

“Monsieur Tremaine,” the black Legion officer spoke with the distinctive accent of a native francais speaker, “we have been missing that patrol for ten years. Your own military believe in not leaving a man behind, surely you can respect that in your allies?”

“I understand that,” Japheth Tremaine assured him while wondering why the Legion had sent a Zanji to see him. It was common knowledge that the Tremaines of Rose Arbour at Ardenvale in Senopta County had been slave owners right up until the Federal Congressional government had forced manumission on the unwilling states. He knew that his counterpart in the Francais Concession, Eric de Amiens, knew that and so had probably chosen this Major du Barry for this task in order to tweak his opposite number’s nose. “I don’t understand why you wish to search within our Concession.”

“The territorial boundaries had not been set during the transitional period,” pointed out Major du Barry, “and the patrol was ordered to reconnoitre up the Ruixin River valley in search of troops supporting the old regime. At the time there was no border bisecting the river and, as we cannot find them in our half of the valley, we must presume that they made it into what is now your half before whatever happened to them, happened.”

“Of course, that’s perfectly logical.” Tremaine gave an apologetic wave of his hand and mentally kicked himself for assuming that this man thought like the ill-educated Zanji at home instead of like the cultured Francais officer he was. “I’m afraid we have very little information on that part of the Concession, it’s all very minor rural villages only barely above subsistence farming. It’s no drain on the public purse but there’s no profit in it either.”

“Inconvenient,” acknowledged the major smoothly, “but might your administration have inherited the old regime’s local archive? We’ve found some useful maps and records in those we’ve acquired.”

“Actually,” said Tremaine, “one of my people, Alexander Burton, was rabbiting on the other day about some old maps he’d come across in the local files. I told him to burn them when he said they were geomancer’s work, but then he told me how much good ones might be worth to the right people back home.”

“We prefer to translate those as ‘survey maps’,” observed Major du Barry. “In my experience they show distances and local features at the very least. That information could be very helpful in our search. Might I have a look at Monsieur Burton’s discovery?”

“I don’t see why not,” Tremaine smiled. “Part of my job is to get rid of anything tainted with sorcery, but if we could show that in this case the ‘magic’ is just a good set of surveyor’s tools and the skills to use them then that opens up other possibilities, doesn’t it?”


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I would pay money to see Tremaine find out that sorcery is real and useful.


I('m not suer that I can justify this 'in universe' and have him remember/live....

Fair enough.
What about one of his descendants?

That's certainly possible.:-)

<hisses at Tremaine>

Learns something about sorcery, breaks his worldview, spends the rest of his days "retired" somewhere that he can be supervised and not alarm people with his "delusional" ranting? Too satisfying, alas.

Surely Tang-ji can't be the only place with magic?

That is pretty much what they would do to him. Similar things happen to people who claim to be reincarnated.

(Tang-ji isn't the only place,no, but certain globally dominant polities have cultural issues.)

Alternately, learns something about sorcery, breaks his worldview, goes on a rabid anti-sorcery crusade to bring that worldview back -- and can likely do so for a while, as I suspect the people high up in a concession governorate's office will have nontrivial power. (He's not the governor. The governor may well tell him to stand down.)

Endings I can see: superiors throw him into said containment; assassination by any number of parties; anti-sorcery becomes more popular and then sorcerers have to go into really deep hiding, with option on further conquest into Tang-ji.

See Rix's earlier reply in this thread about not being able to justify him surviving and remembering in universe. This is quite a bit earlier than Nai's thread, and at-this-time occupiers aren't even in Nai's time really acknowledging that sorcery exists. He'd have to not inform anyone that there's something to it other than superstition ... and he's already on an anti-sorcery ("get rid of anything tainted with sorcery") mission.

Huh, at least some of the occupiers were still paying lip service to the nominal reason for the invasion, albeit not particularly well. But how utterly unsurprising that not all of them were doing even that much.

Well, the nutmeg monopoly people feel that the occupation fulfilled _their_ aims.

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